Over the past few weeks I’ve been updating the look of my blog (and my on-line portfolio as well. You can see it here if you’re so inclined.) I’ve added a few new things in the sidebar, and have generally been trying to “tie up all the loose ends”. Not only do I dislike clutter, but I also want to make my blog as user-friendly, easily navigable, and as aesthetically appealing as possible. Although all this is a positive thing, there is one change that I am not so happy about.
You might have noticed that the title of the blog in header changed from “Style Confessions – A Fashion Diary” to “The Style Confessions ™ – A Fashion Diary”. It’s a little change, but one I felt was necessary. Unfortunately I think it’s too little, too late.
Copyright Infringement and Fashion Blogs
Back in January of 2011 there were a number of issues on the subject of copyright infringement in the fashion blog world. The Coveted , a fashion blog very beloved by many, was copied by another group, who took the same name, similar domain name, and look of the original. (To read more about the issue please see Beautifully Invisible’s great article on the subject: Copyright Infringement: The Coveted vs The Coveted. Not long after Grit and Glamour posted a fantastic article on copyright and trademark basics: Copyright and Image Use – What you need to know. At the time I wasn’t all that worried about copyright infringement, but when I started this blog in March of 2011 I added a basic copyright statement in the sidebar.
Style Confessions vs. The Style Confessions
A lot of thought went into the start of this website. I knew I wanted to create a personal style blog, it needed a catchy title, an elegant layout and of course a nice clean domain name. I wanted to make sure the name I chose reflected the nature of the blog AND I wanted to make sure it was unlike any existing fashion blog. After checking google numerous times and finding nothing similar I took the available domain name – thestyleconfessions.com – and started up. About a month later I received a notice that styleconfessions.com was available for purchase, but I decided not to buy it, mostly for financial reasons. Now, of course, I wish I had! Someone purchased styleconfessions.com and started a blog of the same name. It seems to be a group of well coifed stylists showing women how to bargain shop in a series of professionally shot videos. Needless to say I’m rather upset. Although what they’re doing is different from what I do here I wish they’d chosen a different name for themselves. I started this blog in March and according to their archives their blog started in April, so maybe they just didn’t notice my website.
The thing is, they’ve also taken the name “styleconfessions” on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, you name it they’ve got it. (My Facebook and Twitter accounts are all under my real name, Heather Fonseca.) Right now my blog is more fun than financial, but I might eventually want to gain sponsors or monetize the blog in other ways. When there’s someone else out there with a name just like mine it might put a damper on future relationships with brands.
Moral of the story? Take a few minutes to write a copyright statement for your website. Also add a ™ to your website’s name, It only takes a few minutes and it will give you a bit of protection. (To create a ™ sign on your mac hit “option” and then “2″.) Be sure to grab your website’s name on various social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, even if you don’t use them all that often. I wish I had grabbed styleconfessions too, even if I only to back up the name of the blog.
I’ve thought a bit about starting over with a new blog and domain name, but I’ve put so much work into this one that I’ve decided against that route. I see this as a challenge to make my blog even better, so whenever anyone types in styleconfessions on Google, my website comes up first!
For those of you with blogs, has anything like this happened to you?